Fort Worth, Texas, Schools Focusing On Getting Students On Track for Graduation

Fort Worth ISD will create Freshmen Success Teams at all high schools, where new coaches will work on implementing strategies for increasing the percentage of students who are on track to graduate. They will focus on students’ transition to high school; course performance including credit recovery, disengagement, and recouping academic credits for failed coursework; and goal setting with continuous communication and follow-up. Alongside the Freshman Success Teams, the district is also running Credit Recovery Teams at middle and high schools, comprised of teachers and an administrator, to monitor early warning indicators like grades, credits, attendance, and discipline and to target supports to students most in need.

We are spotlighting this because the introduction of coaches to specifically help with the challenges associated with freshman year of high school is an innovative use of recovery funding. It is also noteworthy that the effort is using early warning data from middle schools to help target the students most in need.

Reviewer Analysis

The Education Trust

Efforts to support students at critical transitions and identify students most in need of support are important for ensuring positive social, emotional, and academic development and success. - Denise Forte

The Data Quality Campaign

Fort Worth’s Freshmen Success Teams and Credit Recovery Teams are designed to use data, including information from the district’s early warning system, to implement strategies to boost student success and graduation rates. The program also focuses on individual supports and goal-setting to help students most in need. - Rachel Anderson

EdAlllies

This data driven approach is worthy of continued investment. - Matt Shaver

National Parents Union

This is a fantastic program, but should also incorporate the participation of children and families in creating an individualized plan to get back on track and stay there. Would suggest that this program also include a career pathway instead of just a plan for graduation. - Keri Rodrigues

John White

This feels like something that should already be funded via Title I school improvement funds. Nevertheless it’s an evidence-based, replicable intervention.

Learning Heroes

Any district focused on high school graduation is doing right by kids if it intervenes right at the key transition points in and out of middle school. - Dr. Eyal Bergman

New Leaders

This plan focuses on an important transition point and uses data to address students most in need. The use of early indicator data is smart. Fort Worth should consider how they partner with families to bolster support for students and post-graduation pathways.

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